Past Michigan State Spartans’ recruit leads Duke Blue Devils over MSU, 87-75
EAST LANSING — Vernon Carey Jr. showed Michigan State exactly what it’s missing.
Carey had 26 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks to help No. 10 Duke dominate the 11th-ranked Spartans in an 87-75 victory Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-10, 270-pound freshman was recruited hard by Michigan State and seemed very interested in attending the school, but ended up signing with the Blue Devils and came back to haunt coach Tom Izzo.
“He’s a load in there,” Izzo said.
Duke (8-1) looked like one of the top teams in the country and not a rebuilding one a week after losing at home to Stephen F. Austin.
“If we played like this last week, we would’ve won two games instead of one,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “But we didn’t because we’re learning.”
Blue Devils guard Tre Jones scored 20 points, matched a career high with 12 assists and made three steals as part of a defensive effort that forced several turnovers early in the game and a total of 14.
“The way we fought and the way we defended is something that we’ve done almost all season except last week,” Jones said. “So we’ve got to keep that up.”
The Spartans (5-3) went into the game “a little fragile,” according to Izzo, and they looked out of sync and overmatched.
“Outcoached, outplayed, outworked,” Izzo said.
Duke went on an 8-1 run midway through the first half to build a double-digit cushion and led 45-29 at halftime.
“We got it taken to us early and we didn’t respond,” Izzo said, noting he was embarrassed by the performance.
Cassius Winston made a 3-pointer to pull the Spartans within eight early in the second half.
Carey answered the surge with a three-point play and a layup to restore a double-digit advantage the Blue Devils had no trouble maintaining.
Winston had 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting.